The final Colts game before the Christmas break was the much anticipated Waterfall clash with local rivals Camberley. This has always been a close fought match and Chobham were looking to reverse the results from U16 days.
With the formalities over Chobham were playing the first half with the sun and wind in their faces. The opening exchanges were scrappy at best as both sides seemed to be anxious and desperate to get one over the opposition. Chobham were guilty of creeping offside on several occasions but the lineout was a struggle for both sides which kept play camped in the middle third for the majority of the time.
With just over 10 minutes played Doug was down with a nasty looking neck injury so play was halted for him to be scooped up in an ambulance. Thankfully the reports coming through later showed no serious damage.
From the restart the game continued in a similar scrappy fashion. Chobham were under the pump at scrum time, but Camberley couldn’t use their possession advantage to carve out any chances of note.
The first opportunity of the game came around 20 minutes in. A loose ball in the Chob midfield was gathered by Camberley in Chob territory. With a whiff of accidental obstruction, the Camberley centre drove forward in search of the opening score. A last ditch tackle brought him down but Camberley battered away for a couple pf phases. It was Harrison then who turned the ball over winning a penalty and the clearance was out to the 10-yard line.
With the disadvantage of the conditions Chob were soon back near their own line with a couple of defensive lineouts. Camberley then had a line but the driving maul was resisted once more.
In the final few minutes of the first half Chob showed the first signs of intent. The decision was made to take a couple of penalties rather than kicking into the wind. This had the Camberley defence having to react for the first time and were pushed back into their own half.
There was still a chance for Camberley with Danny making a crucial tackle and the Camberley player guilty of hanging on. The final action of the half came from another Chob tap. Gideon and Aran weaved their way into Camberley territory. It was Akin who took up the challenge and dragged himself to the visitors 25-yard line. Quick hands left seemed as if it might open up but the defence was again able to hold on and the first half ended 0-0.
Chob now had the luxury of the wind at their bacs and the second half started with the hosts on the front foot at last. The pressure resulted in a penalty in front of the posts, but with most of the big crowd expecting a shot at goal it was another quick tap. Sadly, the chance came to nothing as Camberley caught a chip in the in goal area which the ref seemed to have given a 25 drop out despite the ball not being grounded. Anyone know if this was from a call of ‘mark’? Confusion reigned and with Camberley looking to race out for a quick drop out, Billy was perhaps harshly carded for misunderstanding the situation.
Shortly after the missed opportunity for a penalty shot seemed wasteful as Camberley made no mistake with a three pointer of their own. This however was the only score before Chobham were returned to a full strength and the game was set for a big finish.
As with the first half, territory was very much dictated by the wind as the game was played out in the furthest corner from the club house. Matt snaffled the ball from a Camberley line and then Tommy slightly fortunately got his foot to a spilled pass as Camberley had to punt into touch 10 yards from their own line. Penalties again were Chob’s downfall as Camberley were able to clear into midfield. A concerted drive from a lineout took Camberley to Chob’s 25-yard line before being halted and Chob getting a fortunate scrum. Pressure in the front row drew another penalty to Camberley but in their haste to finish the game off they wasted the chance with a knock-on.
This time the home scrum held firm and Chris broke out in the centre, and Rhys was on his shoulder to carry play to the other 25-yard line and win a penalty in return. This time the shot at goal was taken but drifted just right.
Chobham were lax under the restart and Camberley pounced to regain possession. Somehow Chob pinched it back though and Gideon lofted a familiar cross field kick. The lucky recipient this time was debutant Kyle taking a great over the shoulder catch and having the legs to beat his man in the corner. Chob had taken the lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
For a second time the restart was grabbed by Camberley as they went looking for a redeeming score. Chobham had other ideas though and the defence held firm keeping Camberley at arm’s length and the discipline at break down and offside much improved. Slowly Chob drove Camberley into their own territory, mainly without the ball but with terrier tackling. It was from a Chob scrum that the game was broken open as the pack turned over possession on the Camberley 25 and Akin was able to dot down at full stretch to make it 10-3.
Into injury time now and Chob were able to control the game and keep their opponents in front of them as they had to play more expansively to hit back. A scoring chance for Chob was chalked off for a forward pass to bring a Camberley scrum on the last play. For the first time all game the pack was able to best their opponents at the scrum to nick one against the head. One pass to George and he was able to jink through the visitors and add a third try for Chobham to the delight of the whole squad as most of the rest of the Colts who didn’t make the match day squad raced onto the pitch to join the celebrations.
It wasn’t pretty, but Chob had dogged it out and found a way to win, taking the latest fixture between two well matched sides 15-3.
Squad Aran, Rhys, MattW, Danny, Kyle, GeorgeO, Harry, Dan, Charlie, Harrison, MattN, Oliver, Akin, Tommy, Doug, Billy, Cooper, Theo, Gideon, Saxon, Chris.